Underrepresentation of Female Referees Lingers Across Sports
By Ava Zlatchin
It’s no secret that football in America is brutal, aggressive, and promotes hyper-masculinity. It’s seen in the vigorous tackles, in the die-hard fans, and in the laws that require cheerleaders to wear crop tops and skin-tight shorts to games. And so, it unfortunately does not come as a surprise that the other side of football, refereeing, is just as male dominated and sexist as the game itself. However, about one month ago, Sarah Thomas became the first female on-field official in a National Football League (NFL) playoff game. Thomas, who was already the first woman to ever officiate a college football game and be hired full-time by the NFL, made history for the third time in her career on January 13, 2019 by refereeing the Los Angeles Chargers and the New England Patriots game. Simply put, Thomas is a trailblazer for women in sports, narrowing the gender inequality gap for a less publicized arena: officiating.
It was only in 1997 that the first female referee, Violet Palmer, was hired by the National Basketball Association (NBA), and it was nine whole years until she became the first woman to officiate an NBA playoff game in 2006. Moreover, up until 2016, male and female Fédération Internationale Football Association (FIFA) referees were still trained separately, and in 2011, not a single female referee was employed by Major League Soccer (MLS).
The question is: why is it that female referees don’t account for a larger number? The answer is sexism. Just like how women used to not be able to, and in some countries still aren’t allowed to, play sports, the same goes for officiating them. Professional female athletes are paid a fraction of the pay their male counterparts earn, receive little media attention in comparison to men’s sports, are policed about their bodies, and periodically receive sexist remarks from the media.
Unfortunately, female referees seem to experience the same. Bibiana Steinhaus, a German soccer referee deemed the best female referee in the world, has had male players touch her breasts, untie her shoelaces as a “prank,” and had sexist remarks been directed towards her in the middle of games. In 2015 during a match in Germany, Steinhaus gave a midfielder a second yellow card. In response, the player told Steinhaus, “Women have no place in men’s football.”
While Steinhaus reported this remark, it goes unsaid that this isn’t the first time female referees have received backlash for simply doing their job.
This is why Sarah Thomas’ accomplishment is such a milestone for women. Having broken the glass ceiling in football, Thomas is now a role model for every girl aspiring to pursue a referee position, a career as a professional athlete, and any other profession or aspiration.
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Cover the total school population as effectively and accurately as possible;
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Why is it a concern?
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Students not of legal age whose photographs appear in an advertisement of the publications are required to sign a model release form, as well as their legal guardian.
The publications will not accept personal or classified advertising.
If a published advertisement is incorrect in substantive content, a reduced price or corrected run will be negotiated.
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L: REGARDING DISTRIBUTION AND CIRCULATION
The paper will begin at no less than 16 pages in broadsheet format unless it is a special edition. The number of pages can be altered if need be under the decision of the adviser and/or editorial board.
The school newspaper will be distributed free of charge to all students according to a distribution schedule approved by the adviser and editors. Newspapers will be distributed every 2 weeks, unless specified otherwise by the adviser and editorial board.
Current copies of the school newspaper will also be displayed in the library, main office, and in the newsroom.
All budget surpluses are to be used for future production of the Jacket.
The paper will be distributed at the beginning of fourth period on the day of publication.
The school newspaper will sell subscriptions for the price of $85 for the entire year.
Exchange publications are received and displayed in journalism laboratory.
Exchange publications are mailed to other media rooms across the US.
M: REGARDING LETTERS TO THE EDITOR AND ONLINE COMMENTS
Letters to editor will be printed in the opinion section of the newspaper and/or on the website.
Guidelines to write letters to the editor will be printed every issue in the opinion section of the paper and available online at berkeleyhighjacket.com.
Letters to the editor may be submitted to Mr. Rodrigues’ mailbox, the newsroom or emailed to Mr. Rodrigues ( [email protected] ) or the published email address of the EIC.
Letters to editor should not exceed 300 words, must be signed and must include writer’s phone number for verification.
Letters to the editor will be verified by a member of the editorial board to determine the authenticity of the writer.
No material will be printed where content is obscene, invasive of others’ privacy, encouraging physical disruption of school activities, and/or implies libel.
The Berkeley High Jacket editorial board reserves the right to withhold a letter or column or other submission and/OR return it for revision if it contains unprotected speech or grammatical errors that could hamper its meaning. Deadlines for letters and columns will be determined by each year’s student staff, allowing sufficient time for verification of authorship prior to publication.
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All letters to the editor become the property of the school newspaper upon receipt and will not be returned to the author.
Online comments will require a name and email address submitted that are verifiable.
Online comments will automatically post.
Alerts will be sent to staff editors each time a comment is posted to the site.
Personal attacks are not allowed.
N: REGARDING REVIEWS
The reviewer should have experience in the area in which they are reviewing
All reviews will be bylined and all reviews will be expressed opinions of authors. The editorial board and newspaper staff does not express opinions on the subject matter.
All reviews will be to evaluate and inform, not to promote or denigrate.
Evaluative criteria used will be determined by editorial board depending on whether the event or item being reviewed is professional or amateur in nature.
All reviews must first be reviewed by the opinions editor prior to publishing.
All reviews need to be reviewed and printed in a current and timely manner.
Coverage of student productions will typically be in the form of a preview or feature rather than a review unless a student with sufficient experience and knowledge is available to review the production, and the review can be published while the performance is ongoing.
O: SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media will be used to promote the Jacket, to promote published content and to engage the Berkeley High community.
The editorial board reserves the right to remove comments that violate any provisions hitherto outlined by this policy.
Information posted on social media platforms should be held to the same standard as all other reporting in terms of information gathering and fact checking.
The official social media accounts should avoid promotion of events and remain objective, reporting what is fact. Reporters using personal social media to cover events should do the same.
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Transparency is important. Mistakes made on social media posts should be corrected as soon as possible and any deleted posts should be acknowledged in subsequent postings.
The goal of the Jacket marketing is to promote and expand the Jacket viewing audience.
Contests are run by members of the 209 staff and regulated by the school’s marketing team and EICs.
The publicity team will work to attend all major events held by the district or school with the intent of promotion.
All events or important dates known by adviser, staff members or editorial board will be passed along to the Business Manager.
The Business Manager will assign at least one member of the business team to participate in each event.
Q: PRIOR REVIEW POLICY
Sources will be able to have quotes read back at the time of interview or at reporter’s initiative.
Sources will not be able to arbitrarily demand to read the reporters completed story and then perform editing tasks on that story.
The reporters will endeavor to include the name and identity of all sources if reporter believes that doing so will not result in endangerment, harassment or any other form of undue physical, mental, emotional anguish for the source.
The reporters will not, within all boundaries of law, reveal a source who asks to remain nameless.
All interviewers will respect the interviewees rights to have information remain “off the record” if the fact is known before giving the information to the interviewer.
The Jacket will not be reviewed by anyone outside of the editorial board aside from the adviser prior to its release to the public, the adviser is allowed to review the publication, but not required to, for the sole purpose of acting as legal consultant and educator in terms of unprotected speech; the adviser reading content is not considered prior review unless he/she makes changes or directs changes.
VI: STAFF POLICY FOR SELECTION AND DISMISSAL A. EDITOR AND STAFF SELECTION PROCESS
Editor-in-chief(s) and other editor level positions are chosen by the previous year’s editorial board, with input from the faculty adviser.
New and returning staff are judged by application and previous work.
Applicants are not turned down because of age, race, sex, religion, mental or physical handicap that do not impair editorial responsibilities.
B. REGARDING STAFF DISMISSAL
All individuals involved with Berkeley High Jacket are considered a team, each member is expected to complete all assigned stories, pages, photos, etc. on or before the assigned deadline. Staff members, including editors, may be suspended from publication, or demoted from their position if any of following violations occur:
continuously missed deadlines (dismissal procedures will take place by choice of adviser and EIC)
Vandalism or theft of publication equipment
Continuous negative, pessimistic or unprofessional attitude toward staff member or adviser
Submitting an advanced page design, story, photo or other publishable item to anyone outside the Jacket staff without approval by the editorial board
Failing to fulfill job as outlined in job description
Behavior that might discredit the reputation of the staff member or the Jacket at the discretion of the EIC and the adviser.
Major infractions will result in immediate dismissal from staff duties and dismissal from class and staff at the end of semester (major infractions include but are not limited to following: plagiarism, vandalism, theft).
Minor infractions will be given a warning on the first violation. The second will result in immediate dismissal from staff duties and dismissal from class and staff at end of semester.
The above list of infractions could all result in dismissal however, staff dismissals are not limited to the listed infractions.
A dismissed staff member receiving academic credit may be given a grade of F and will not be allowed to apply to Jacket in the future (will not preempt school policy).
Dismissal procedures are reviewed and approved by the editorial board
All dismissal appeals will be directed to the school administration and the editorial board
Questions or complaints concerning material published in the Jacket should be made in writing to the editor-in-chief who will present the concern at the next scheduled editorial board meeting.
Complaints and suggestions may be emailed to [email protected] , dropped off in room G-108B, or emailed to the published address of the EIC.
Resolutions will be made within limits of deadlines.
VIII. PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATION
The Berkeley High Jacket should be a member of state, national, and/or international organizations.
The Berkeley High Jacket will work to be in contact with professional media such as the Daily Californian, Berkeleyside, and the San Francisco Chronicle as well as other individuals and companies in the communications field ranging from public relations and advertising to promotions and copy writing.
This code of ethics is adapted from Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics. Changes made were to reflect the practices and policies of Berkeley High School and high school journalism. These policies apply equally to all staff members, editors, and the adviser(s).
Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair. Journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information. Journalists should:
Take responsibility for the accuracy of their work. Verify information before releasing it. Use original sources whenever possible.
Remember that neither speed nor format excuses inaccuracy.
Provide context. Take special care not to misrepresent or oversimplify in promoting, previewing or summarizing a story.
Gather, update and correct information throughout the life of a news story. – Be cautious when making promises, but keep the promises they make.
Identify sources clearly. The public is entitled to as much information as possible to judge the reliability and motivations of sources.
Consider sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Reserve anonymity for sources who may face danger, retribution or other harm, and have information that cannot be obtained elsewhere. Explain why anonymity was granted.
Diligently seek subjects of news coverage to allow them to respond to criticism or allegations of wrongdoing.
Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information unless traditional, open methods will not yield information vital to the public.
Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable. Give voice to the voiceless.
Support the open and civil exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.
Recognize a special obligation to serve as watchdogs over public affairs and government. Seek to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in the open, and that public records are open to all.
Provide access to source material when it is relevant and appropriate.
Boldly tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience, particularly at Berkeley High School. Seek sources whose voices we seldom hear.
Avoid stereotyping. Journalists should examine the ways their values and experiences may shape their reporting.
Label advocacy and commentary.
Never deliberately distort facts or context, including visual information. Clearly label illustrations and re-enactments.
Never plagiarize. Always attribute.
Ethical journalism treats sources, subjects, colleagues and members of the public as human beings deserving of respect.
Balance the public’s need for information against potential harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance or undue intrusiveness.
Show compassion for those who may be affected by news coverage. Use heightened sensitivity when dealing with juveniles, victims of sex crimes, and sources or subjects who are inexperienced or unable to give consent. Consider cultural differences in approach and treatment.
Recognize that legal access to information differs from an ethical justification to publish or broadcast.
Realize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than public figures and others who seek power, influence or attention. Weigh the consequences of publishing or broadcasting personal information.
Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity, even if others do.
Balance a suspect’s right to a fair trial with the public’s right to know. Consider the implications of identifying criminal suspects before they face legal charges.
Consider the long-term implications of the extended reach and permanence of publication. Provide updated and more complete information as appropriate.
Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived. Disclose unavoidable conflicts. BHS Jacket reporters should not report on events, clubs, or issues that they are members of or have direct involvement in.
Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment.
Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; do not pay for access to news. Identify content provided by outside sources, whether paid or not.
Deny favored treatment to advertisers, donors or any other special interests, and resist internal and external pressure to influence coverage.
Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two.
Be Accountable and Transparent
Ethical journalism means taking responsibility for one’s work and explaining one’s decisions to the public.
Explain ethical choices and processes to audiences. Encourage a civil dialogue with the public about journalistic practices, coverage and news content.
Respond quickly to questions about accuracy, clarity and fairness.
Acknowledge mistakes and correct them promptly and prominently. Explain corrections and clarifications carefully and clearly.
Expose unethical conduct in journalism, including within their organizations. – Abide by the same high standards they expect of others.
Last Updated September 21, 2019
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The materials appearing on Berkeley High Jacket’s website could include technical, typographical, or photographic errors. Berkeley High Jacket does not warrant that any of the materials on its website are accurate, complete or current. Berkeley High Jacket may make changes to the materials contained on its website at any time without notice. However Berkeley High Jacket does not make any commitment to update the materials.
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8. Governing Law
These terms and conditions are governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of California and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts in that State or location.
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